Northwest Senior News January 2021

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 1, Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

We continue our review and digest this month of Fat Heals-Sugar Kills: The Cause of and Cure for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Metabolic Disorders by Dr. Bruce Fife. In the first part of Chapter 4 titled Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet, Dr. Fife stresses the point that sugar is sugar whether is be table sugar, fructose, agave, honey or any other of the myriad forms of sugar.

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 2

Part 2: The key takeaway here is that the over consumption of sugar leads to excessively elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels. This, in turn, forces the pancreas to produce more insulin to deal with the high sugar load, and this leads to our body’s cells becoming resistant to the effects of insulin. This situation is known as insulin resistance, which is the pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes.

Sugar Blues: Chapter 1

Seven years ago, we initiated our review and digest of William Dufty’s book, Sugar Blues. His account of his sugar addition is timeless as the problem of sugar addiction continues unabated. We have revised our original summary and digest of his Chapter 1 titled: It Is Necessary to be Personal.


Gary Taubes, a well-known scientific journalist and author, published on YouTube a speech of his titled: The Case Against Sugar. We have republished our original transcription of the first segment of his speech with updated comments. His talk is just as appropriate today as it was a few years ago.


Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 1, Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Review of Chapter 3

Dr. Fife outlined the sordid history of Ancel Keys’ fraudulent research which attempted to pin the blame for the increasing rates of heart illness on dietary fat, particularly saturated fat. A British researcher, Dr. John Yudkin, pointed the blame for heart disease on the dramatically increased amount of sugar in Western diets. Ancel Keys along with his sugar industry promoters vilified Yudkin to the point that Keys’ diet-heart-hypothesis, also known as the lipid or cholesterol hypothesis, linking dietary saturated fat to heart disease, gained traction and was generally accepted as true for over a half of a century.

Chapter 4, Part 1

Carbohydrate is Sugar

The primary purpose of carbohydrates is to produce energy. Fats and protein serve as building blocks in our bodies, although they can be used to provide energy. Carbs are mainly derived from plant foods, diary being the exception.

The carbs we’ll look at are glucose, fructose, and galactose (aka lactose). Fiber is also a carb, but humans do not have the enzymes to digest it.  Plants with the highest amount of carbs are legumes, grains, and tubers. The latter are carrots, potatoes, parsnips, etc. Refined carbs such as white flour have been stripped of most of their fiber, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. When digested, these refined carbs, also known as starch, are broken down into glucose.

Our blood sugar refers to the amount of glucose in our blood. For our bodies to operate efficiently, we need to have the proper level of blood sugar. From WebMD:

Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours. And they’re less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.

During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90 is the norm.

Blood sugar is not the problem; it is the over consumption of sugar that is the problem.

My Comment: What is over consumption? Some dietary experts hold the line at about 100 calories of sugar per day.  Considering that a 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda pop runs around 140-150 calories, it’s really easy to exceed those limits. For sugar addicts, those limits are hopelessly too low and are usually ignored.

Continuing: Fife points out that just as alcohol can be addictive, sugar can likewise be addictive. The problem with refined carbs is that the milling process, which has stripped everything away but the starch, concentrates the starch. This in turn, allows the starch to be digested much more quickly, and that results in a too rapid of an increase in blood sugar levels.

Me Comments: So you try to be a smart shopper and purchase bread labeled as “Whole Wheat.” Unfortunately, just as there are so many other “Fake” things in life, there is also fake whole wheat bread. Let’s look at some ingredients lists from several so-called “whole grain” breads. As you will see, many of these so-called whole grain breads list unbleached, enriched flour as their first ingredient.


Wow, that list has problem sirens are going off all over the place.

1) This is primarily white bread, but they throw in some whole wheat flour to make their claim to fame…whole grain. Notice the label: “Baked with Whole Wheat

2) There are two sugar listings: sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

3) They also use two of the unhealthiest oils on the planet, soybean oil and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil.

4) This is a classic SORF product made from three cheap ingredients.

  • Sugar
  • Oils (Highly processed oils derived from seeds
  • Refined Flour

The food industry manufactures hundreds and hundreds of “foods” made from these three, cheap ingredients.


That’s quite a contract to the above fake, whole wheat bread. Here is a worthwhile quote from the article:

According to Food For Life, the glycemic index of Ezekiel bread is only 36. That’s half the reading for normal white bread, which is 70. Not even 100% whole grain [bread] can compare, as its GI is 62

Not only is the lower glycemic number better for diabetics, it’s better for everyone.

Sugar Overload

Continuing: Fife points out that the food industry puts an immense effort in putting just the right amount of sugar into their products to make them either sweet or savory.

The reason sugar is so pervasive in processed foods is due to the work or Howard Moskowitz, PhD, an American marketing researcher and psycho-physicist.* In the 1970s he was assigned the task of maximizing the appeal or Dr. Pepper. He tested 61 levels of sweetness to find the optimum level of sweetness to guarantee the new soda would fly off the shelf. This level is called the bliss point. It is at this point at which the sweetness is the most desirable, sweet enough but not too sweet.

The bliss point was first used in the formulation of soda, but is now used in all types of products—pasta sauce, cereals, tomato soup, bread, and so on. An unfortunate consequence of putting sugar in everything is that people to expect everything to have a slightly sweet taste. A generation of children has grown up eating foods sweetened to the bliss point. By comparison, foods such as vegetables, have become unappealing. *The branch of psychology that deals with the relationship between physical stimuli and sensory response.

Sugar in foods, sweets, and snack foods has created a nation of sugar addicts. Sugar is so addictive that some people admit they can’t live without it. Ed: My emphasis.

My comments: Volumes and volumes could be written concerning the above paragraphs. Dr. Fife said it in a minimum of words:  …a nation of sugar addicts. A result of this addiction is that we now have a national pandemic of adult-onset, type 2 diabetes. Sadly, this isn’t just occurring in adults, either.

Primitive peoples who don’t have the luxury of our modern, processed foods have an absence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. There surely must be a cause-and-effect relationship!

Continuing: Dr. Fife reminds us that the sugar culture is a modern phenomenon. Prior to the 1960s, sugar was used in desserts and sweets. Nowadays, it’s a staple. Sugar consumption worldwide has tripled in the last 50 years, and most of this is in the form of hidden sugar.

Sugar is found in hundreds of processed foods such as bread and most baked goods, breakfast cereals, catsup and barbecue sauce, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, canned goods, and frozen foods.

My comment: Years ago, a cook at a school cafeteria told me that when she started adding corn syrup to the peanut butter, the kids liked it better than unsweetened peanut butter. She was contributing to training the kids to like things sweet.

Continuing: Fife lists various sources of sugar founds in processed foods: agave, barley malt, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, coconut sugar, corn syrup, date sugar, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, levulose, maltodextrin, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, nonfat dry milk, palm sugar, saccharose, skimmed milk powder, sorghum, sucrose, treacle, and turbinado.

The ingredients list on food packaging lists the ingredients most predominant by weight. Some labels can list multiple sugars as you go through the list of ingredients.

My comments: Have you noticed that the ingredient lists on food packaging are usually spelled out in upper case letters? Additionally, they are often scrunched together in a condensed font. Worse, in many instances the contrast between the font color and the background is indistinct. An example is black letters on a red background. Elsewhere on the packaging, such as the nutrition information, things are much more readable. I think the most logical answer is to make it more difficult for the consumer to read the lists. Apparently, the manufacturers do not have the same requirements for the ingredient listings as they do elsewhere on the labeling. Please click here for a more complete explanation of food labeling requirements.

Continuing: Fife says the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends limiting your daily sugar intake to no more than 8 teaspoons for the average adult. That’s about 128 calories. One 12 ounce can of sugar soda pop will put a person over the limit.

He reminds the reader that “natural sugars” such as fruit juice concentrate and agave nectar are no better than refined sucrose. Dr. Fife next segues into a discussion of the various types of sugars.


Sucrose is better known as white, table sugar. It is highly processed. Dr. Fife states that the only advantage of so-called “natural sugars” is that they might retain some nutritional value, but it isn’t much. He makes the point that so-called natural sugars such as Agave nectar or syrup are still sugar.


Blood Sugar and Insulin Resistance

Digestible carbs are broken down and converted into glucose. The glucose is picked up by our bodies’ cells and transformed into energy. But first, the hormone insulin unlocks the doors to the cells and allows the glucose in. If the insulin was not present, glucose could not pass into our cells.

If cells don’t get enough glucose on a steady basis, they degenerate and die. On the other hand, too much glucose is toxic and can lead to mental confusion, coma, and death. Aren’t we fortunate that our bodies have a feed back mechanism to maintain our blood sugar (glucose) within a narrow range?

The way our bodies self-regulate is quite remarkable. The pancreas secretes insulin as blood sugar rises. As insulin shuttles glucose into the cells, blood sugar levels drop. Another signal tells the pancreas to stop producing insulin.

If blood sugar levels fall too low, then another signal triggers the pancreas to release another hormone, glucagon. Glucagon helps to release stored glucose from the liver. Our bodies have the ability to maintain blood sugar levels in a fairly tight range.

Refined carbohydrates whether they be some form of sugar or refined starches such as white flour, will quickly elevate blood sugar levels. The bran, fat, and protein in whole grains slows down the digestive process, which mitigates this problem.

If you eat high carb meals, snack on high carb foods such as donuts or cookies, and/or use a sweetener in your coffee, you will keep your insulin levels elevated throughout the day. That’s bad.

Dr. Fife reminds us that we can become desensitized to a variety of stimuli. For example, if we are in a room with an odor, after a while we don’t notice the odor anymore.

Chronic exposure to high insulin levels desensitizes the cells, and they become unresponsive or resistant to the action of insulin. This is referred to as insulin resistance. In order to move insulin into the cells, a higher-than-normal concentration of insulin is needed, which puts more strain on the pancreas to produce more of the hormone. Insulin resistance is the hallmark feature and first step toward developing diabetes.

End of Part 1. Please continue with Part 2 in this issue.

Gary Taubes ‘The Case Against Sugar’ Part 1

a Gary Taubes YouTube video transcribed by Liz Reedy

Note: We originally ran this transcription in our February 2017 edition of Northwest Senior News. Being that we’re reviewing Dr. Fife’s book, Fat Heals Sugar Kills, it seems appropriate to review information from other sources the deals with the issues caused by the over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates

This is Part 1 of the transcription of the 1 hour 22 minute YouTube video, “The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. He is a well-known science and nutrition writer.

The book that put Taubes on the map was his 2007 Good Calories, Bad Calories. His associatess came to him and said, “Gary, you need to write the concepts in Good Calories, Bad Calories in laymen’s language.” Heeding the call, Taubes wrote Why We Get Fat: And What to do About It in 2010.

Why take the time and trouble to convert the spoken word from a video into the printed text? Some people learn better if the information is in a visual format rather than in an auditory form. The reader can read at his/her own pace and go back to review any information. For those with visual impairments, we certainly encourage you to listen to the video.

Part 1: The transcriptions begins:

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. Since my latest book is called The Case Against Sugar, the first thing you have to know is that I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t have a PhD. I am a journalist. I started my career as an investigative science journalist. I wrote my first two books about physicists and nuclear physicists who discovered nonexistent phenomenon and lived to regret it.

As such, I was obsessed with how hard it is to do science right and how hard it is to get the right answer. One line I quote in three of my books is from the Nobel physicist, Richard Feynman, who said, “The first principle of science is you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

In the early 90’s after my first two books, I had a lot of fans in the physics communities. They said to me, “If you’re interested in bad science or people who do it wrong, you should look at some of the stuff in public health, because it’s terrible.”

So I moved into public health reporting in the early 90’s and I found that my physicist friends had, if anything, underestimated the problem. By the late 90’s I was moving into nutrition, almost purely by chance. I stumbled into the nutrition field.

I did two investigations: one for the Journal of Science on salt and high blood pressure. You know, this idea that salt causes our blood pressure to go up and hypertension. I spent nine months on a single magazine article. I interviewed over eighty subjects and I concluded that the evidence behind this idea that salt causes high blood pressure is terrible. You would only really believe it if your preconception was so strong that you were convinced it was true before any of the studies were done.

While I was doing that story, one of the worst scientists I’d ever had the pleasure to interview took credit for not just getting Americans to eat less salt but also to eat less fat. One of my lessons from my early research was that bad scientists never get the right answer.

When I got off the phone with this guy I called my editor at Science and I said, “When I’m done doing this salt story I’m going to do a fat story. I’ve no idea what the story is.” I was eating a low-fat diet like everyone else in America. But I knew if this guy was involved in any substantive way, there’s a great story there.

I spent a year working on a single magazine article for Science [magazine], a single investigative piece called The Soft Science of Fat. I interviewed about a hundred and forty subjects for one magazine article. I concluded that the evidence behind the low-fat dogma was as bad as it was for the low-salt dogma and that nutritionists didn’t have a clue what they were doing.

This was followed about a year later with an infamous cover story for the New York Times magazine called What if Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat [This title is slightly modified compared to the actual article], in which I started looking at the science of obesity and what makes us accumulate excess fat.

That piece is probably the most controversial magazine article the New York Times ever ran. The cover was a porterhouse steak with a piece of butter on it. The implication was that Robert Atkins’ Diet Revolution was right all along, which was completely unacceptable to the medical community, but was what the evidence seemed to support.

Cover stories like that tend to get the authors large advances. This one did and it paid for four years of my life so I could write the book I always wanted to do about nutrition science. The book of course took five years.

It’s an interesting thing in writing. You do research till you run out of money and then you start borrowing and start writing so you can hand in the manuscripts so they can give you some money; by the time you hand in the manuscript, the money you get pays back the money you borrowed and now you’re broke again. Anyway, I digress. The book that came out of this was Good Calories, Bad Calories.

When I went into this field I thought was going to let the food police have it for giving us all this bad advice about what makes us sick and who make us eat these horribly boring, low-fat, low-salt diets. In the midst of doing more research on the subject than any other human being had done until that time, I realized that there was a very compelling alternative hypothesis.

The problem isn’t the fat in the diet; it’s the carbohydrates, that is, the grains, the starches, and the sugars. And suddenly, in my new books I am even more of the food police than the other food police, and now I can’t go out to eat with anyone in my life. We’re at a restaurant…..they’ll want to order French fries and they’re looking at me like, “Do you mind?”

So, I wrote this book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. It’s five hundred pages and has a hundred and sixty pages of end notes and bibliography. It’s a dense read. After I wrote it, I got emails and letters from people saying, “This book changed my life. Could you please write one that’s readable?” Could you write one that my father could read, my son could read. I got emails from doctors saying, “Could you write one that my patients could read.” And I got emails from patients saying, “Could you write one that my doctor could read.”

The result was in 2011 when I published a book called Why Do We Get Fat? and what to do about it. If I had my say it would have just been Why Do We Get Fat because I don’t like to give diet advice, but my editors insisted that if they were going to publish this book I had to give some advice.

I knew this book had succeeded when I got an email from a family friend saying, “I was on a flight to the Caribbean and I read your book. I haven’t had a carbohydrate in three months, I’ve lost thirty pounds, my blood pressure has dropped and I’ve never felt so healthy.”

The problem is I’m blaming obesity and heart disease and the chronic diseases that associate with it on sugar and refined grains. People would say to me, “Well, what about southeast Asia? There’s a continent of billions of people who consume a lot of refined grains and don’t have high levels of obesity and diabetes.”

The obvious answer to that is this is a population that doesn’t eat a lot of sugar, even though sugar refining was pioneered in China two thousand years ago. Because of the communist era, they never modernized their sugar refining processes. By the middle or late twentieth century they were consuming the amount of sugar we were consuming two hundred years earlier.

In Japan, which is always raised as an example, even back in the 1920’s when there were public health authorities arguing that sugar caused diabetes, the counter-argument from Elliot Joslin, who was the leading diabetes clinician in America, was “Well the Japanese eat a high carb diet, and they have very little of diabetes.” Joslin didn’t realize that sugar and other carbohydrates were different.

As I learned in my research, in the 1960s the Japanese consumed about as much sugar as we did in the 1860s. They had diabetes rates similar to what ours were in the 1860s.

Along the way in this research I’ve written some more articles for the Journal of Science about the mechanism of the condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when the cells of your body become resistant to the hormone insulin. It’s the fundamental defect in type 2 diabetes, which is the common form that associates with obesity.

Insulin resistance is believed by the researchers who study it to actually begin in the liver, in part with fat accumulation. It associates with what is now called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is also epidemic in America just like diabetes is.

As it turns out, the sugar molecule or high-fructose corn syrup is half a molecule of glucose and half a molecule of fructose. It’s fructose that makes it sweet. Fructose is fruit sugar; it is what makes fruit sweet, but in fruit you get it in very low doses. When we refine sugar cane or sugar beets or corn into high-fructose corn syrup we basically take out everything but the glucose and the fructose. Then we put it into sugary beverages and so on, making it very easy to consume.

The idea is that this fructose gets dumped on your liver and a lot of it gets converted to fat. If it gets converted to fat, it’s going to cause insulin resistance. You basically have this scenario that I described in the book, where there’s a mechanism with sugar that you’d expect it to cause insulin resistance. If it causes insulin resistance, then you would expect it to cause diabetes and obesity. And if it increases those, then you would expect it to increase the risk of these chronic diseases that are associated with obesity and diabetes.

There’s this whole cluster of chronic diseases that are often referred to as diseases of western life styles. These include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, gout, arthritis and half a dozen others. Even cavities. Cavities are crucial. Dental care is crucial. Back in the 1960s people were saying since all these diseases cluster together and the first signs were cavities.

If you took a native population eating its traditional diet and you give them a western diet, on the way to becoming obese and diabetic, the first thing you’ll see is cavities occurring in the children. Doesn’t it make sense that whatever it is that causes the cavities also causes the obesity and diabetes. It’s a simple hypothesis, what is causing the cavities is sugar and white flour.

What I wanted to do with this book was to lay out this train of possible cause and effect. We have this conventional thinking in the field that the worst that can be said about sugar is its empty calories. It’s absent of vitamins and minerals and it just adds calories to the diet.

When you consume sugary beverages maybe you consume it over and above from what you would need from the rest of the diet and that’s what makes you fat. And to me that’s an excruciatingly naïve way to look at some extraordinarily complex physiological phenomenon. I wanted to lay this out in the book, and that’s what I’m doing.

There’s one underlying theme in all my books. It’s one of the things I realized in doing my research that I had no idea about. My books, including my first two on physics and nuclear physics, were about good science and bad science.

One of the things I learned in writing my first book on nutrition is that prior to World War II, the very best scientific research in the world was done in Europe. Science was in effect a European invention and all the fields of medical science that relate to obesity and diabetes were pioneered in Europe, in Germany and Austria. [Taubes names the various fields.] Genetics, metabolism, nutrition, endocrinology, the science of hormones and hormone related diseases… Stop at 12:51.

Sugar Blues: Chapter 1

by William Dufty


Seven years ago, we published our review and digest of Chapter 1 of William Dufty’s legendary book, Sugar Blues in our annual paper newsletter that we mail out in January. Being that we’re dissecting another book dealing with the subject of sugar addiction, Fat Heals-Sugar Kills, The Cause and Cure for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Metabolic Diseases, it seems appropriate that we re-publish Dufty’s story.

Additionally, many new clients have come onboard with us in the past seven years. Also, many people have added email addresses during this period.

Lastly, in light of other books that we have done reviews and digests, we’ll make some additional comments that we hope will shed light on the issue of sugar addiction and how it can destroy one’s health. For those of you that are struggling with sugar addiction, we hope that you will do as Dufty did, have an epiphany and kick the habit.

Sugar Blues: Multiple physical and mental miseries caused by human consumption of refined sucrose—commonly called sugar.

Chapter 1: It Is Necessary to be Personal. 

Dufty grew up in a small Mid-western town during Prohibition.  When Dufty was eight, a visitor introduced to him the idea of floating a scoop of ice cream in a glass of Canada Dry ginger ale.  That was the spark that started his sugar addiction.  His access to grape soda pop kicked his addiction into high gear.  He writes, “When my summer grape pop habit got out of control, I had to lie, cheat, and steal to support it.”

He discovered malted milks in high school.  Rather than smoking, he got a better high off of a banana split.  He writes that the tobacco companies hired pretty girls to hook others on cigarettes.  Dufty smoked a few of the free ones, but he preferred a sweet treat.  He recounts summer hitch-hiking and living off Pepsi-Cola sold in a nickel bottle.

Dufty was drafted in 1942 and described his dislike of Army chow.  He writes, “I haunted the Post Exchange.  It was a two-year orgy of malted milks, sugared coffee, pastry, candy, chocolate, and Coca-Cola.”  He recounts that he was scared to death when he developed bleeding hemorrhoids.  Then he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

He finally became well enough and was shipped off to Algeria.  He remembered living off the land with a diet of “horsemeat, rabbit, squirrel, dark French peasant bread and whatever could be scrounged.”  He recalled never being sick or having a sniffle during those eighteen months.

He returned stateside after the war and reminisces…

Was I bright enough to understand the controlled experiment in nutrition I’d been unwittingly involved in?  I might have saved myself years of total waste, but I was a total idiot, without half the brain or instinct for survival…  On my return to the States, I went on a glorious bender; Pie à la mode, cake and whipped cream, malted milks by the dozen, chocolate and Pepsi.  Sugar…sugar…sugar.

He was flat on his back and had one malady after another.  His hemorrhoids returned, and he experienced infectious mononucleosis, atypical malaria, hepatitis, shingles, exotic skin conditions, ear infections, and eye diseases.  He says that he ran out of money and “discovered the wonders of socialized medicine at the VA… “

Dufty continues:

For over fifteen years I subjected myself to an endless whirligig of doctors, hospitals, diagnosis, treatment, tests, and more tests, drugs and more drugs.  During all that rigamarole, I cannot recall a single doctor (out of the dozens that treated me) who ever displayed the slightest curiosity about what I ate or drank.

One night in one sitting I read a little book that said if you’re sick, it’s your own damn fault.  Pain is the final warning.  You know better than anyone else how you’ve abusing your body, so stop it.  Sugar is poison, it said, more lethal than opium and more dangerous than atomic fallout. Ed: My emphasis.

He recalled a warning that a woman gave to him about sugar cubes as a child. “Everyone has to find out for themselves—the hard way.”

His epiphany hit him like a lightning bolt.  Dufty continues his account:

I threw all the sugar out of my kitchen. Then I threw out everything that had sugar in it, cereals and canned fruit, soups and bread.  Since I had never really read any labels carefully, I was shocked to find the shelves were soon empty; so was the refrigerator.  I began eating nothing but whole grains and vegetables.

The worst was yet to come.

In about forty-eight hours I was in total agony, overcome with nausea, with a crashing migraine.

Dufty compares refined sugar to heroin, a refined chemical that is highly addictive.

I was kicking all kinds of chemicals cold turkey—sugar, aspirin, cocaine, caffeine, chlorine, fluorine, sodium, monosodium glutamate etc.

Things started to improve.

The next few days brought a succession of wonders.  My rear stopped bleeding, and so did my gums.  My skin began to clear up and had a totally different texture when I washed.  I discovered bones in my hands and feet that had been buried under bloat.  I bounced out of bed at strange hours in the early morning, raring to go.  …My shirts and shoes were too big…I discovered my jaw while shaving…I dropped from 205 pounds to a neat 135 in five months and ended up with a new body, a new head, a new life.”  He continues.  “I burned my Blue Cross card.”  He wrote the woman that warned him about the sugar cubes, “Wow, were you ever right.  I didn’t get your message then, but I’ve got it now.

Since then [the 1960’s] I have been sugar free.  I haven’t seen a doctor, a pill, or a shot in all that time.  I haven’t even touched so much as an aspirin.

My Comments: Dufty is ever so right; sugar is a highly addictive substance. Sometime in the future, I (Lance) will write an article about my own history of sugar addiction. However, for now I’ll share with you a very recent experience.

As I went over to the photocopier shop to pickup my copies of our 2021 paper newsletters, I noticed a plate of mostly eaten Christmas cookies sitting on a counter. The one that was left was one of those white flour jobs, sweetened with sugar, of held together with butter. I couldn’t avoid taking in a whiff of the aroma coming off that cookie. It reminded me of the pleasures of eating such sweet treasures, the wonderful taste in my mouth, and the smooth feeling when going down my throat.

I think the sensation was remarkably similar to the former smoker that feels a craving and taste for a cigarette when he/she is around someone smoking. The same could said for the reformed alcoholic that gets a whiff of booze and relives the wonderful feeling of the drink trickling down his throat.

Sugar is addictive! End

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 2, Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Chapter 4, Part 2

Glucose—Blood Sugar and Insulin Resistance: continued

Where we left off is Dr. Fife explaining to us that insulin resistance is the hallmark feature and first step towards developing diabetes. We’ll concern ourselves here only with type 2 diabetes and not juvenile diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may be able to produce enough insulin, but the cells of the body have become unresponsive to the hormone insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Over 90% of diabetics are of this type.

In the initial course of this disease, the pancreas usually can produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance of the cells. However, the demand placed on the pancreas takes its toll, and insulin production eventually begins to decline. Eventually the pancreas can burn itself out and stop producing the insulin needed.

When this happens, type 2 diabetics will require supplemental insulin.

More than half of all those with type 2 diabetes eventually require insulin to control their blood sugar levels as they get older.

My Comments: I hope Dr. Fife’s words will serve as a dire warning to those who consume lots of refined carbs but have yet to be diagnosed as having pre-diabetes. I would hope that it also serves as a wake-up call to those that have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and have been prescribed metformin. I also hope that the readers that are diabetic and taking metformin and/or other diabetic pills will hear the alarm bells going on as to the path they are headed on if they insist on continuing to abuse their bodies by consuming too many refined carbohydrates.

Dr. Fife warns that half of those will end up requiring insulin if the disease continues to progress. The progression continues with assorted diabetic complications:

  • Skin complications
  • Eye complications: Retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts
  • Neuropathy: Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy
  • Foot complications
  • DKA (ketoacidosis) & ketones
  • Kidney disease (nephropathy)
  • High blood pressure—also called hypertension—raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems and kidney disease.
  • Stroke

Folks, this is serious stuff. The obvious answer is to quit consuming or severely reduce “foods” made from refined carbohydrates. The problem, of course, just as with other addictive substances, refined carbs and particularly sugar in its various forms, are highly addictive.

William Dufty in Chapter 1 of his book, Sugar Blues, had this to say when he quit sugar cold turkey:

In about forty-eight hours I was in total agony, overcome with nausea, with a crashing migraine.

Continuing: Dr. Fife explains that diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood sugar is 126mg/dL or higher. As insulin resistance increases, so do blood sugar levels. Fife also warns that you are not in the clear if you are at 125mg/dL. He explains that insulin resistance begins when fasting levels rise over 90 mg/dL.

Fife points out the correlations between increased sugar consumption and the increase of diabetes. He also states the reverse:

Eating a low-sugar or low-carb diet significantly reduces the risk [of developing diabetes].

He says that the scientific evidence linking excess sugar consumption with an increased risk of diabetes is strong.

My Comments: The problem here is what is “low” and what is “excess?” In Part 1 of Chapter 4, I quoted some dietary experts’ recommendations of consuming no more than 100 calories of sugar per day. If you are a regular consumer of processed foods, you’ll likely exceed this many times over. Keep in mind that 100 calories worth of sugar is 25 grams or slightly under an ounce or about six teaspoons.


Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly certain foods raise blood sugar levels. The GI is on a scale of 0 to 100. Glucose is given a GI of 100, and all other foods are rated in comparison.

A banana has a rating of 51, but a slice of white bread, by comparison, has a GI rating of 75. While the banana tastes sweeter, its fiber slows down the absorption process. The white bread is pure starch and quickly dumps a high load of glucose into the bloodstream once it’s digested.

Chronic Inflammation

Dr. Fife explains that high glycemic foods tend to increase inflammation.

When blood sugar levels rise, the sugar in your bloodstream tends to latch onto certain proteins in the blood vessel wall, causing injury and inflammation. When you eat high glycemic index foods repeatedly, your blood glucose levels are continually elevated, leading to chronic injury and inflammation.

It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped in the artery wall. Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.

This chronic inflammation of the arteries is one of the distinguishing features of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. In fact, chronic inflammation is associated with diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and just about every other chronic degenerative disease. Ed: My emphasis

My Comments: When certain events happen, the cause-and-effect relationship can be immediate and painful. Accidentally placing your hand on a hot burner will give you immediate and painful feedback to the degree that you minimize your injury and avoid such behavior in the future. The effects of a bee or wasp sting is immediate and painful, and deadly for some. Those that have suffered painful stings take precautions to avoid getting stung again.

If I eat a candy bar, woof down half a bag of Oreos, or splurge on three bowls of my favorite chocolate chip ice cream, do I have a heart attack, have kidney failure, or go into a diabetic coma? Not yet and maybe not for decades. Nothing happens in the immediacy to the toxic load that I have subjected my body to. However, if I persist in this behavior, the effects will accumulate and eventually catch up with me.

The dilemma here for any addiction is that the pleasure derived by tickling the dopamine part of our brain outweighs any concerns of potential long term side effects. And just think, the psycho-physicists that Dr. Fife referenced earlier in this chapter understand this physiological response to pleasure and addiction better than we do. It is their job to ensure that we will really like the manufactured food or beverage they create to the point where we become lifetime consumers. That is their bliss point.

Continuing: Dr Fife states that inflammation can be determined by measuring a marker in the blood called C-reactive protein (CRP); the higher the CRP the more inflammation is present.

He succinctly explains the problem:

In the absence of infection, a primary cause of inflammation is eating excessive amounts of sugar. Sugar causes inflammation and exponentially* increases your chances of developing chronic diseases. Ed: My emphasis

My Comments: What if you made a nicely printed sign that you prominently posted in your kitchen that reads as follows.


We can assume that the processed food industry will not be handing such signs out.

*Why does Dr. Fife use the word “exponentially” in his text?  Exponentially means more rapidly and that the speed of the rapidness keeps increasing.

Let’s say Person A consumes no sugar and no refined carbs and has a virtually zero percent chance of developing diabetes.

Person B consumes 500 calories per day of sugar/refined carbs and has 10 times more likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes compared to Person A.

Person C consumes 1,000 calories per day of refined carbs and has 10 times more chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared to Person B or 100 times more chance compared to Person A.

The above figures are hypothetical only, but Dr. Fife’s point by using the word exponentially is that the chances of contracting a chronic illness becomes increasingly higher with the increased consumption of sugar.

Continuing: Dr Fife further discusses chronic inflammation and arterial disease. He makes this key point:

The relationship between chronic arterial inflammation and heart disease is a much better indicator of heart disease risk then blood cholesterol levels.

My Comments: Assuming that Dr. Fife’s above comment is medically correct, then why are so many doctors pre-occupied with blood cholesterol levels? Over the years I have heard many, many people tell me that their doctor said that they have to get their cholesterol levels lower. The remedy is usually to prescribe a statin drug. With one possible exception, I have never heard anyone report to me that their doctor was just as hell-bent to get their blood sugar levels lowered by restricting their consumption of sugar and other refined carbs.

Continuing: Dr. Fife further explains the correlation of C-reactive protein and inflammation to heart disease.

Dr. Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston evaluated blood samples from more than 28,000 healthy nurses. Those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein had more than four times the risk of having heart trouble. “We were able to find that the C-reactive protein is a stronger predictor of risk than were the regular cholesterol levels, and that’s very important because almost half of all heart attacks occur among people who have normal cholesterol levels,” he said.

Dr. Fife suggests that inflammation may explain why people have heart disease without other known risk factors. These are people with normal cholesterol, who are not diabetic, and appear to be in good physical condition. They make up about a third of all heart attack cases.

My comments: To learn more about C-reactive protein (CRP) here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say:

The level of C-reactive protein (CRP), which can be measured in your blood, increases when there’s inflammation in your body. Your doctor might check your C-reactive protein level for infections or for other medical conditions.

Healthline has this to say:

High CRP levels can also indicate that there’s inflammation in the arteries of the heart, which can mean a higher risk of heart attack. However, the CRP test is an extremely nonspecific test, and CRP levels can be elevated in any inflammatory condition.

I looked at other websites, and the information they offered about the link to diet, nutrition, and particularly sugar was scant. One suggested that a Mediterranean diet was beneficial. Another suggested that an unhealthy diet was one contributory factor towards CRP.

Dr. Fife cuts to the chase and lays the blame on high-glycemic foods. And what are high-glycemic foods? Yep, it’s refined carbohydrates which includes white flour and sugar in its various forms. End